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01/17/06 2:48 PM ET

Madson eyeing starting role in 2006

Phillies pitcher fields questions from fans online

Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson won 15 games with a 3.25 ERA over the last two seasons as a reliever. During a live Web chat, Madson answered questions about trying to earn a starting spot in the Phils' 2006 rotation and what kept him busy during the offseason.

Ryan Madson: Hi guys. Thanks for having me here today. I've been looking forward to doing this.

abreu4prez: Ryan, you were sixth in the National League in appearances last season with 78. Do you feel that you were overused? Do you think your high number of appearances had something to do with you struggling in the last half of the season?

Madson: I didn't feel overused. The everyday grind got to me mentally more so than physically. It was the most appearances I'd ever had in my career.

abreu4prez: Do you feel that you have a serious shot at making the 2006 starting rotation?

Madson: I feel like if I go into Spring Training and get back into my routine as a starter, I think I have a good shot.

kaitling604: What is your favorite thing to do in the offseason?

Madson: Now that I'm a new dad, I spend most of my time with my daughter, Ella.

kaitling604: Who is your closest friend on the team?

Madson: I came up through the Minors with Brett Myer,s and we have a good time up here as well.

kaitling604: What has been your most memorable moment so far?

Madson: I'd have to say making my Major League debut at Veterans Stadium at the end of 2003. Also, pitching at Fenway Park was very cool.

guesswho322: Do you enjoy playing in Cincinnati?

Madson: Yes.

Base_Ball: What type of superstitions do you have before a game?

Madson: I use the same shower before the game starts. Two pairs of socks, one on the left, one on the right, one on the left and one on the right. Leave to go to the bullpen at 7 p.m. to the second.

Neal_Jackson: Ryan, would you be more comfortable as the setup man or in a starting role?

Madson: Starting, for sure, because that's what I came up through the Minors doing. But wherever help is needed, I will be more than happy to do it.

hairgirl4: Ryan, is Brett Myers a good guitar player?

Madson: (Laughing) No!

Brandon_Mowery: What's your take on the leadership hole that has been left with the departure of Jim Thome? Who do you think is going to be the rock in the clubhouse that Thome was? Any concerns there?

Madson: With Jimmy Rollins in a long-term contract, he will be a big part of the leadership on this team.

Base_Ball_2: Which Phillie would you least like to face in a key situation?

Madson: Hopefully, I'll never be in that situation. But, if I was, the last guy I'd want to face is Chase Utley. He was pretty clutch for us last year.

philsbat26: How do you feel about the current direction of the team and the front office?

Madson: I met Pat Gillick today for the first time. He seems to be a very knowledgable baseball guy and I look forward to working with him this year.

Adam_Reif: Hey Ryan, who are some of your baseball idols?

Madson: Nolan Ryan. His seven no-hitters will never be duplicated.

kenrosenthal: Was Rich Dubee a good influence on you last year? He obviously helped Myers.

Madson: Rich has a good approach with his pitchers. He prepares us well and lets us be ourselves.

philsbat26: If you had to play any other position on the field, where would it be?

Madson: Any spot in the outfield.

nyphilsphan: If you weren't playing baseball, what do you see yourself doing?

Madson: I'd be more than happy to be a stay-at-home dad.

John_Cover: Will moving the left-field wall at Citizens Bank Park back five feet be significant for you and fellow Phillies pitchers?

Madson: Any change to the left-field wall is a good change. It will give us a little more peace of mind when we're out there.

kenrosenthal: Do you want that long-term deal like Jimmy Rollings got?

phiguest: Yeah, I'd love to be here in Philly for the next five years.

cgrgrl: Do you believe this year's team has what it takes to make the playoffs?

Madson: Of course. We're strong up the middle. Our defense plays as well as anyone in the league. Our lineup is strong and our pitching is solid. With the new faces, when we come together as a team this year, we'll be fine.

leean143: What do you think your biggest accomplishment so far has been?

Madson: Just being able to play at the highest level in my sport and be successful.

kenrosenthal: What's your favorite pitch? Are you currently working on adding any new pitches?

Madson: My favorite pitch is the changeup, and I'm working on solidifying my curveball and maybe adding a slider.

piano2nr: What workout regimen do you have planned for this year to allow you to be more fresh throughout the year if you are in the bullpen, rather than four days off as a starter?

Madson: Just the experience of last year's season has given me what I need to stay fresh throughout this coming year.

philliesnation: What's your favorite cheesesteak place in Philly?

Madson: Tony Luke's. Definitely.

Base_Ball_2: How cool was it to have your mom throw out the first pitch last year at CBP?

Madson: It was very exciting. I don't get to see her as much I'd like during the season. So, to have her here at the ballpark for a day was very special.

Madson: Thanks guys for chatting with me today. I had a good time and I look forward to doing it again later this season.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.